From Nikki Hyde, Deputy Director of Human Resources
Celebrating our campuses as more of us come back to Kent
After such a long gap, it’s hard to believe it’s now nearly time for those who’ve been working off-site to return to their desks. When we first started thinking about our roadmap for staff coming back, it still felt a bit like planning with our eyes closed – and let’s face it, none of us thought it would take this long when we first learnt the language of Teams back in March 2020.
So, while the impact of the pandemic has thankfully lessened, we recognise what a big impact it’s had on us all. That’s why we’ve put together our Life on Campus programme from 23 August – 17 September to help everyone prepare for our 20 September target of everyone being largely campus-based again.
I’m sure many will have a few mixed feelings about the return, including those of you who’ve been working on campus throughout – it’s about to get a whole lot busier! It’s going to take time for everyone to adjust and we’ll all need support as we come back; plus a reminder of how special our spaces are and what they mean to us all as a community.
Something for everyone
We hope there’s something for everyone. All staff can bring their family along to a special day for staff at bOing! on Friday 27 August, including a fantastical VR performance of Alice in Wonderland. Teams can get together for a free game of bat and trap or petanque throughout the month or use our tented village on the Registry Lawn for outdoor meetings, while our Sustainability team will be running special tours that showcase our beautiful surroundings. You can even grab a free coffee with a colleague as a good excuse to get chatting in person again. There are also some more practical things to think about – getting up to speed with what we’ll have in place to keep everyone safe or making sure you’ve popped back to reboot your computer in good time. We’re all going to be learning together, which is the main message in the guidance we’ve put together in our new Future of Work Staff Resource Pack.
All of this will culminate in our first Staff Conference, where we want to start bringing our community back together after so much disruption. Everyone is also invited to either the Medway Summer Fete on 8 September or the Canterbury Summer Fete on the 17th, so we all get a chance to be together in person for a BBQ on our lawns before the next term begins.
Having been on site recently, our spaces really are looking beautiful and more than ready to welcome you all, bringing life back onto our campuses before our students join us for the next academic year. I look forward to seeing you there.
Nikki Hyde | Deputy Director of Human Resources